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Anet A8

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Geoff Gardiner07/05/2017 09:22:12
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351 forum posts
605 photos

I have recently purchased an Anet A8 (build yourself) 3D printer from Gearbest.Com. A bargain at £130.

The beauty of this printer is that there is a large online community with many upgrades available to download and print on Thingiverse.

Here is what I have added so far (all the orange bits). All found on thingiverse apart from the wheel brackets which I designed myself:

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Geoff Gardiner07/05/2017 09:23:39
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351 forum posts
605 photos

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Simon Chaddock07/05/2017 11:05:15
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5324 forum posts
2786 photos

Geoff

Very nice. You obviously have done quite a bit of printing!

The A8 is a true bargain with surprisingly good engineering.

The one bit that troubled me on mine was the fact that the cables to the bed and head relied on their flexibility to account for the travel. As the flexing tends to be concentrated at one point my fear was that sooner or later the strands would start to fracture.

Cable tracks are the 'industrial' answer to this problem and there are several Thingiverse setups available, some are better than others.

I eventually managed print tracks for all three axis so there are now no 'free' wires anywhere as well as covers for the power pack and mother board.

Anet A8 mods

So far I have not found the 'stiffening' modifications really necessary but then I have not tried to print an RC plane either! wink 2

MaL07/05/2017 11:24:20
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135 forum posts
13 photos

Thats nice Geoff,Do the steppers not get too hot when encased or is there a hidden fan in there too?

Tony Bennett07/05/2017 13:07:30
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5050 forum posts
129 photos

i have done no mods at all to my A8.

been printing like mad with it.

Tony B

Broken Prop07/05/2017 20:27:12
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577 forum posts
1 photos

That all looks very impressive Geoff. I particularly like the concept of a machine that bulids its own updates!

The exhaust stubs that you showed me earlier today are amazing! Thanks for sharing.

Pete

Robin Etherton08/05/2017 22:06:35
259 forum posts
41 photos

Ok I'm convinced.

Just ordered one from Gearbest. £132 plus any import duties.

Can't wait.

Tony Bennett09/05/2017 08:58:14
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5050 forum posts
129 photos

they are a lovely little printer for the price.

there a few minor issues with the build, but it is simple enough to do.

Tony B

Geoff Gardiner09/05/2017 18:19:44
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351 forum posts
605 photos

No hidden fan for the stepper motors - I have not noticed them getting hot at all.

I am finding that I need to do frequent minor adjustments to level the bed. For this reason I am awaiting the delivery of an inductive proximity sensor, from China, to enable auto levelling.

Tony Bennett09/05/2017 20:19:16
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5050 forum posts
129 photos

i hardly ever have to level the bed.

maybe once every 50 prints it will need a tweek.

i think the issue is the bad springs and screws that hold the bed level, i added some thread lock to make sure nothing moves while it prints.

Tony B

MaL10/05/2017 09:56:48
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135 forum posts
13 photos

Duplicate post

Edited By MaL on 10/05/2017 10:13:27

MaL10/05/2017 10:12:24
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135 forum posts
13 photos

I wasn't referring to the stepper motors Geoff, I meant the stepper drivers on the circuit board. Heat can be an issue on some boards as the drivers could be passing a couple of Amps each. There are certainly examples of people having these A8 boards just fail and I was wondering that as some other builds have flushing fans to move air over the electronics to remove excess heat if it would not be a good idea to add a fan, especially if you are going to enclose the board.

If you are doing frequent bed levelings then you have something loose as Tony says... I have used fuel tube in the past instead of springs and substituted captive nuts for their longer thread length on the levelling mechanism.I You can also gain another 5mm in build height capability by lowering the bed with shorter lengths of fuel tube. ! rarely have to level the bed, usually only if the z steppers have got out of sync somehow..face 5

Martin Harris16/05/2017 14:18:19
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8307 forum posts
210 photos

I'm seriously impressed with Gearbest - I ordered a kit for this printer on the 7th of May and it arrived a few minutes ago - 9 days from China for a hefty box...unless perhaps they keep a buffer stock more locally? The parcel had a British address, which might explain why HMRC didn't ask for a sizeable pile of folding stuff?

I am looking forward to building it and playing with the result - I'd been toying with the idea of a 3D printer for some time but the recommendations here tipped my hand.

Geoff Gardiner16/05/2017 20:28:56
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351 forum posts
605 photos

Martin, I had a similar experience. Mine took 10 days, no import fees, and appeared to have come from somewhere near Birmingham.

One thing I added, before even switching it on, was a mosfet board (£15 from ebay). It powers the heated bed and reduces the current draw from the main board - seemed like a good idea to me.

Tony, I have been looking for a radial engine for my electric Flair Puppeteer. Your one looks terrific. would you consider making it available on Thingiverse?

Geoff...

Robin Etherton17/05/2017 14:55:54
259 forum posts
41 photos

Ok its just arrived from Gearbest, pretty good as I only ordered it on the 8th.

Box looks ok so will savour the opening later.

Will probably order a mosfet and glass bed before running it.

Cant wait to get stuck in.

Martin Harris17/05/2017 23:43:15
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8307 forum posts
210 photos

Spent most of the day peeling off backing paper and building the beast. Have a good look around on YouTube for various instructional and modification videos before you start - and be aware that the pdf instructions I found referred to a slightly earlier build...the X axis motor mountings are the most obvious difference.

This one (plus follow-ups) seems to be the most relevant and "official"...not too bad to follow but I think you should take the protective covering as you build as it would be tricky to do so later - I suspect they've left it on for clarity instead of building on a black background.

I have run into a bit of a problem (and from another video it's not unknown). The Z axis threaded drives don't align with their motors properly and I'm having to make some adjustments...but everything appears to function on my initial tests. As advised, I have ordered the Mosfet board and shan't do a test print or heat the bed until I've fitted it.

P.S. I made my first mod while doing the initial part of the build - popped into my local Toolstation for a bag of 8mm domed nuts (£2 odd) to tidy up the appearance of the Y axis and filament holder studs.

Edited By Martin Harris on 18/05/2017 00:15:54

Martin Harris19/05/2017 12:22:10
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8307 forum posts
210 photos

I'd be interested to know if anyone else has had Z motor alignment problems - is this something to do with the later modified X axis motor and idler parts - especially from Robin with his contemporary machine?

Once assembled, the leadscrews didn't align properly and loaded up the mechanism, meaning that manual lifting of the print head by winding the motors was difficult and I'm sure such loads wouldn't do the motors and machanism any good. I have treble checked that there was no "wrong" way to assemble the motor cradles but I couldn't see another way.

To solve it, I machined slots in the acrylic cradles and it now aligns and moves much better. Drilling and filing should do it but as I have a small milling machine I used that. The acrylic is a pig to machine - the cutter has to move soooo slowly or it simply overheats the plastic and melts it onto the cutter! I might have got away without recessing the underside of the coupling hole slightly to give clearance for the flange round the motor shaft but it was easy to do while I was milling the slots.

I suspect that the mosfet mod isn't quite as important as my version has screw connectors to the PCB rather than a plug and socket arrangement which seemed to be the source of overheating from a little research - but I'm fitting it anyway!

Edited By Martin Harris on 19/05/2017 12:25:12

Robin Etherton19/05/2017 13:16:15
259 forum posts
41 photos

Hi Martin

I haven't started to put it together yet so I can't comment but when I do I will report back.

Waiting on delivery of mosfet before starting.

Have received glass bed and replacement bearings.

Any other mods will have to wait until I get it going.

Having to clear the indoor bench of a mosquito build(see posting) before I start. The mosquito will have to wait.

Not sure if swmbo will allow installation and operation in the conservatory. Hopefully the igus bearings will help on the noise front and maybe I can find room in the corner.

Robin

parridav19/05/2017 15:18:18
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13 forum posts
1 photos

Having read the posts I have taken the plunge and ordered from GearBest

Simon Chaddock19/05/2017 15:48:09
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5324 forum posts
2786 photos

I would be concerned that any tightness on the Z axis (or any axis come to that) would be a sure way to overload the stepper motor drivers.

My early? version A8 required no changes to assemble. in deed. I discovered that with the power off it was possible to rotate the z axia motors simply by pressing on the bridge. Not recommended as you have no idea if both motors rotate the same amount.

The only spare part I have required so far is new heater/thermo couple wires. All my own fault i accidentally caught the thermo couple wire where it leaves the printer head. Cheap enough to buy (from China) but a bit of a bind to replace particularly on mine as all the wires are 'buried' in cable tracks! wink 2 .

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